Women in League Week: Rochelle Tamarua, a referee’s perspective

To celebrate Women In League Week, Beyond the Mark is sharing different perspectives of women involved in rugby league. Rochelle Tamarua started refereeing league games four years ago after attending an ARL referees meeting. 

How did you get involved in rugby league?

Well, I’ve been refereeing Touch Football for over 12 years and wanted to join a winter sport that was similar to touch. Four years ago I was invited by Leon Williamson to the ARL referees meeting at Alexander Park. I refereed my first under 13s game at Papatoetoe and haven’t looked back.

What advice would you give women trying to get into refereeing?

I’m not going to lie – yes, being a female is way more difficult to referee a “male dominant” game. You’re exposed to verbal abuse from spectators, coaches etc. but it does get easier. I guess it comes with experience. Give it a go!

What is your favourite league memory?

Refereeing the test match against the Kiwi Ferns and Jillaroos at the NRL 9s, 2015 & 2016

Who is your favourite league player and why?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a favourite league player. However, there are a lot of young talent coming through and it’s awesome to see experienced players pass on their knowledge too.

What do you enjoy doing outside of rugby league?

Love spending time with family. Love refereeing Touch Football and developing youth to become better referees both on and off the field.


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